Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday inaugurated a free generic medicine store at AIIMS and a convergence block — designed to bring laboratory facilities of the institute under one roof.
The generic drug store, which will be the first free pharmacy at AIIMS, will open on Monday. It is expected to stock 200 generic drugs and will be open from 8 am to 6 pm on all working days.
The cost of the drugs, estimated at Rs 1.2 crore per month, will be borne by the institute.
Speaking on the occasion, Azad said, “AIIMS has about 9,000-10,000 patients being treated at the OPD every day. Of these, many do not have the means to buy medicines. The pharmacy will provide free medicines to such patients.”
The institute is expecting about 4,000 patients at the store daily. Sources said complaints of sub-standard drugs being provided at discounted rates by a private pharmacy led the institute to work out a stringent quality control mechanism with the Centre’s HLL Lifecare Limited, which will be managing the store.
According to authorities, the pharmacy will be the first centralised, medicine supply system across different departments and specialty centres at the institute. It will also help the pharmacology department monitor adverse drug reactions and prescription patterns.
The convergence block designed by HSCC was built at a cost of Rs 58.85 crore over an area of 18,600 square metres and completed in 18 months. The block was part of the recommendations made by the Moily Committee for augmentation of infrastructure at AIIMS, for which the Central government had allocated Rs 750 crore.
The 10-floor building with two blocks will house research facilities for various departments such as Biology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology. It will also have teaching rooms, laboratories and research units along with a Knowledge Centre.
A No Objection Certificate for the project came on February 10, but sources said the centre will be operational only by March 31.